ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Twenty-one potential sex crimes by former church worker Benjamin Roberts are currently under investigation by the Abilene Police Department.
Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge stated in a press conference Friday that 12 parents have called in regarding their children as possible victims.
Video evidence seized by police confirmed seven cases of Indecency with a Child, according to Chief Standridge. In the video, both Roberts and the children were fully clothed.
Roberts was arrested for Possession of Child Pornography and Indecency with a Child – Sexual Contact on March 28. After formally being charged, Roberts was terminated from his position at the Wylie Baptist Church Early Childhood Development Center.
During a press conference Tuesday, Chief Standridge stated that eight victims had been identified in the investigation of the former church worker’s child sex crimes.
A second employee, the childhood center’s director, was also fired during the investigation. Chief Standridge stated that parents and other employees have called in to confirm that she did have knowledge of the crimes committed.
The allegations against the former director are still under investigation, and that it could take up to one month before charges could be formally filed.
Roberts also worked with children at other churches, including Beltway Park South, Southern Hills Church of Christ, and a ‘Kid’s Club’ Ministry ran out of his home at 465 Cockerell Drive.
Chief Standridge stated that there is now reason to believe there are more potential victims from the Southern Hills Church of Christ.
Southern Hills issued the following statement late afternoon Friday:
The elders, ministry staff, and all members of Southern Hills Church of Christ are heartbroken to learn that the Abilene Police Department has received information of a potential victim or victims of abuse in the investigation of a former Southern Hills employee, Ben Roberts. We will continue to work as closely as we can with the Abilene Police Department in this ongoing investigation. Southern Hills leadership urges all parents to speak with their children who may have had any contact with Ben Roberts in order to determine if any additional improper acts occurred. If you find any indication of abuse or improper behavior, please report that immediately to the APD. As we have said previously, our children are blessings from God, and their physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing are our top priorities.
BigCountryHomepage will update this article as additional information on the allegations against Roberts’ is released.